Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Problem Solving: Proficiency Levels


Overall

Excel File Excel Download
Excel File 2012 Problem Solving Proficiency Levels Description

Table PS1. Percentage distribution of 15-year-old students on PISA problem solving scale, by proficiency level and education system: 2012
Education system Below level 1   Level 1   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5   Level 6
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
OECD average (PS) 8.2   0.16   13.2   0.16   22.0   0.18   25.6   0.18   19.6   0.17   8.9   0.14   2.5   0.08
Australia 5.0   0.34   10.5   0.47   19.4   0.51   25.8   0.66   22.6   0.53   12.3   0.48   4.4   0.32
Austria 6.5   0.91   11.9   0.76   21.8   1.11   26.9   1.21   21.9   0.99   9.0   0.77   2.0   0.39
Belgium 9.2   0.62   11.6   0.59   18.3   0.72   24.5   0.65   22.0   0.67   11.4   0.66   3.0   0.33
Brazil 21.9   1.65   25.4   1.43   26.9   1.30   17.4   1.44   6.6   0.83   1.5   0.30   0.4 ! 0.15
Bulgaria 33.3   1.87   23.3   1.08   22.1   1.02   14.1   0.84   5.6   0.71   1.4   0.32    
Canada 5.1   0.39   9.6   0.45   19.0   0.59   25.8   0.73   22.9   0.63   12.4   0.56   5.1   0.42
Chile 15.1   1.32   23.1   1.09   28.6   0.98   22.2   1.00   8.8   0.72   1.9   0.28   0.2 ! 0.06
Chinese Taipei 3.4   0.58   8.2   0.59   17.8   0.80   26.3   0.95   25.9   1.02   14.6   0.73   3.8   0.40
Colombia 33.2   1.67   28.3   1.08   22.2   0.94   11.3   0.80   3.9   0.48   0.9   0.24   0.2 ! 0.08
Croatia 12.0   1.03   20.2   0.97   26.8   1.17   22.9   1.15   13.2   1.12   4.0   0.61   0.8   0.20
Cyprus 19.6   0.57   20.9   0.64   25.5   0.76   20.4   0.91   10.1   0.58   3.0   0.29   0.5 ! 0.21
Czech Republic 6.5   0.70   11.9   0.86   20.7   0.95   27.2   0.90   21.8   0.88   9.5   0.75   2.4   0.32
Denmark 7.3   0.69   13.1   0.69   24.1   0.78   27.8   0.87   19.0   1.08   7.2   0.68   1.6   0.30
Estonia 4.0   0.47   11.1   0.80   21.8   0.71   29.2   1.04   22.2   0.80   9.5   0.65   2.2   0.30
Finland 4.5   0.42   9.9   0.53   20.0   0.90   27.1   1.07   23.5   0.85   11.4   0.58   3.6   0.47
France 6.6   0.86   9.8   0.68   20.5   0.98   28.4   1.08   22.6   0.90   9.9   0.73   2.1   0.35
Germany 7.5   0.85   11.8   0.89   20.3   0.91   25.6   0.98   22.0   1.03   10.1   0.96   2.7   0.42
Hong Kong-China 3.3   0.53   7.1   0.74   16.3   1.00   27.4   1.39   26.5   0.98   14.2   1.09   5.1   0.65
Hungary 17.2   1.34   17.8   0.90   23.9   1.20   22.4   0.93   13.0   0.95   4.6   0.68   1.0   0.23
Ireland 7.0   0.77   13.3   0.86   23.8   0.78   27.8   0.88   18.8   0.79   7.3   0.58   2.1   0.33
Israel 21.9   1.42   17.0   0.91   20.1   0.84   18.5   0.85   13.7   0.93   6.7   0.81   2.1   0.44
Italy 5.2   0.74   11.2   1.15   22.5   1.00   28.0   1.14   22.3   1.14   8.9   0.93   1.8   0.33
Japan 1.8   0.35   5.3   0.55   14.6   0.88   26.9   1.07   29.2   1.02   16.9   1.04   5.3   0.67
Korea, Republic of 2.1   0.32   4.8   0.57   12.9   0.94   23.7   0.96   28.8   0.86   20.0   1.20   7.6   0.89
Macao-China 1.6   0.20   6.0   0.44   17.5   0.61   29.5   0.77   28.9   0.88   13.8   0.62   2.8   0.26
Malaysia 22.7   1.53   27.8   1.23   27.8   1.16   15.7   0.89   5.2   0.61   0.8   0.23    
Montenegro, Republic of 30.0   0.77   26.8   0.75   23.9   0.99   13.8   0.67   4.6   0.42   0.7   0.20    
Netherlands 7.4   1.02   11.2   0.99   19.9   1.15   26.0   1.30   22.0   1.23   10.9   1.03   2.7   0.50
Norway 8.1   0.71   13.2   0.73   21.5   0.93   24.7   0.81   19.4   0.82   9.7   0.73   3.4   0.37
Poland 10.0   1.09   15.7   1.00   25.7   0.91   26.0   0.98   15.7   1.00   5.8   0.66   1.1   0.22
Portugal 6.5   0.64   14.1   0.96   25.5   0.93   28.1   0.97   18.4   0.91   6.2   0.60   1.2   0.26
Russian Federation 6.8   0.68   15.4   1.14   27.0   0.90   27.9   1.18   15.7   0.91   5.9   0.71   1.4   0.33
Serbia, Republic of 10.3   1.03   18.3   0.82   26.7   1.39   25.8   1.15   14.3   0.80   4.1   0.39   0.6 ! 0.22
Shanghai-China 3.1   0.51   7.5   0.64   17.5   0.79   27.4   1.09   26.2   0.99   14.1   0.87   4.1   0.56
Singapore 2.0   0.21   6.0   0.38   13.8   0.58   21.9   0.69   27.0   0.96   19.7   0.72   9.6   0.42
Slovak Republic 10.7   1.13   15.4   1.12   24.3   0.96   25.6   1.30   16.2   1.17   6.3   0.60   1.6 ! 0.49
Slovenia 11.4   0.59   17.1   0.99   25.4   1.24   23.7   0.84   15.8   0.79   5.8   0.51   0.9   0.24
Spain 13.1   1.20   15.3   0.79   23.6   0.91   24.2   0.95   15.9   0.85   6.2   0.59   1.6   0.26
Sweden 8.8   0.74   14.6   0.78   23.9   0.94   26.3   0.79   17.6   0.69   7.0   0.51   1.8   0.27
Turkey 11.0   1.05   24.8   1.33   31.4   1.43   21.2   1.15   9.4   1.13   2.0   0.48    
United Arab Emirates 30.3   1.21   24.6   0.84   22.0   0.73   14.2   0.57   6.4   0.40   2.1   0.20   0.4   0.07
United Kingdom 5.5   0.79   10.8   0.84   20.2   1.25   26.5   0.89   22.7   1.05   10.9   0.83   3.3   0.55
United States 5.7   0.78   12.5   0.85   22.8   1.02   27.0   0.98   20.4   0.89   8.9   0.69   2.7   0.47
Uruguay 32.4   1.56   25.6   0.96   22.4   1.03   13.2   0.69   5.3   0.51   1.1   0.23    
† Not applicable.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
NOTE: To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into problem solving literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 1 (a score less than or equal to 358.49); level 1 (a score greater than 358.49 and less than or equal to 423.42); level 2 (a score greater than 423.42 and less than or equal to 488.35); level 3 (a score greater than 488.35 and less than or equal to 553.28); level 4 (a score greater than 553.28 and less than or equal to 618.21); level 5 (a score greater than 618.21 and less than or equal to 683.14); and level 6 (a score greater than 683.14). Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. The OECD average (PS) is the average of the national percentages of the 28 OECD member countries that participated in the problem solving (PS) assessment, with each country weighted equally. The following OECD countries did not participate in the problem solving assessment: Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Standard error is noted by s.e. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.

Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education